October 5, 2022

oumiss

Forget Mediocre Fashion

6 Canadian women on the size-inclusive brands they love

Let’s get real: Finding stylish clothes larger than XL isn’t easy. While there certainly has been a push for fashion brands to expand beyond straight sizing in recent years, limited in-store availability, exorbitant shipping costs and fewer styles to choose from are still common challenges. But the fact is, people of all sizes want to express personal style and wear beautiful clothes, made with gorgeous fabrics in a range of silhouettes, colours and prints. The good news is that there’s more choice available in inclusive or plus-size fashion than ever before, and the options are so good. To highlight some of them, we asked six impeccably dressed Canadian women to share the inclusive brands they love.

Joanie Pietracupa

Joanie Pietracupa: Montreal-based magazine editor (and one of The Kit’s 21 Best Dressed Canadians) Joanie Pietracupa remembers feeling rejected by the fashion world when she was younger. “Women’s magazines taught me this was all a big no-no for big girls—remember when fashion writers would give do’s and don’ts tips? Ew!” That’s part of the reason she pushes for visibility in her work. “I’ve been working in the women’s magazine industry for the past 13 years now. I also happen to be queer and fat. Bringing diversity to the table is the main reason I do what I do. I’m a big advocate for inclusivity and body diversity, in my work and in my personal life (and on my Instagram!)”

Joanie Pietracupa

Pietracupa loves vibrant colours, fun fabrics, cool shapes and skin-tight dresses. “I also love to wear crop tops, oversized coats, knee-high boots (I buy those on Eloquii as they’re specifically made for bigger calves and are cheap and chic), super baggy jeans and tiny purses, all of which are supposed to be ‘unflattering’ for bigger bodies. But guess what? I really don’t care. As long as I love what I wear, I feel beautiful and confident.” Here’s where she shops.

For designer finds: 11 Honoré

“Just like any other fashion-obsessed gal, I looove designer styles! 11 Honoré is an online store featuring trendy plus-size women’s clothing that’s all designer. I’ve bought some incredible pieces by Ganni (my fave designer brand at the moment), Mara Hoffman, Marina Rinaldi and Baja East. I also really like the in-house collection, which features really nice, timeless staples with elevated details at affordable prices.”

For formal pieces: Asos Curve

“Asos has a wide selection of plus-size styles that are anything but boring! Whenever I have a black-tie gala or other super-chic event that I need to attend for work, Asos is my go-to. I just know they’ll have some incredible sequin pieces that’ll look just right on my body type.”

For dreamy dresses: Eliza Faulkner

“I’m a huge fan of Montreal designer Eliza Faulkner. Almost all her pieces go up to an XXL now, which fits me perfectly. I have a couple of dresses and a denim jacket that I just adore and wear so often. Her pieces are impeccably cut and amazing quality, and make me feel feminine and trendy.”

For elegant separates: Lachapelle Atelier

“Viviane Lachapelle, the Montreal designer behind Lachapelle Atelier, is an amazing artist. She wanted to create an inclusive clothing line (each piece goes from 0X to 4X) that features timeless, sustainable and well-cut clothing pieces. I’m in love with their Louis jacket at the moment—I’ve been eyeing it since it appeared on the site! The Martin blouse, which I own in a soft lilac shade, is my go-to shirt when I want to feel pretty. Such easy-to-wear fashion!”

For boho pieces: Anthropologie

“Few people know that Anthropologie has a very nice plus-size clothing section. I usually order the clothing online as the Montreal store unfortunately doesn’t carry it. The shipping costs can come to an indecent amount of money, but that’s part of the game when you’re fat! It has a bunch of really cool brands on top of the in-house APlus collection, featuring lots of colourful, boho and artsy pieces (think retro shapes, funky motifs, etc.) up to size 3X or 26W.”

Brittnee Blair

Brittnee Blair: For Canadian model (and former Big Brother Canada houseguest) Brittnee Blair, fashion is a love language. “My style is ever-evolving. A lot of times it’s mood based, but I love to bring new looks to the table, whether it be for an event, a vacation or just a day out on the town. I’m here for comfort, but I’m also here for elegance and a loud statement. It’s the first way you introduce yourself without having to use any words.” Here’s where Blair shops.

Brittnee Blair

For comfy undies: Knix

“Knix is my go-to! It’s seen me through hard workouts, period days and even growing through pregnancy with my daughter. I love that the brand is size inclusive (XS to XXXXL) with everyday pieces that last a long time.”

For great sports bras: Adidas

“Adidas is a staple in my wardrobe! It ain’t easy to find a heavy-duty sports bra that makes you feel secure and confident as a plus-size woman. Whether I’m downward dogging or taking a boxing class, the ta-tas are secured. They absolutely kill it when is comes to a good legging, too.”

For luxurious separates: Henning

“Henning makes me feel stunning and luxe. At times, I like to think of myself as a classic kind of woman, and Henning is my go-to for these moments. I’m talking cashmere, beautifully tailored suits, leather jackets and the dreamiest trench coats. Henning knows the way to my heart and has me feeling all kinds of beautiful. I appreciate that they understand how to bring luxury to all body types.”

For fun fashion: Loud Bodies

“Loud Bodies just gets it. I’m obsessed with how bright and beautiful this brand is. Everything is there, from the inclusive sizing (2XS to 10XL) to the eclectic selection of pieces. Not to mention they’re ethically and sustainably run and a badass female-owned business.”

For thoughtful designs: Lesley Hampton

“Lesley Hampton is not only an incredible Canadian female designer but she advocates for mental health and is a strong leader in the Indigenous community. Each piece feels so thoughtfully crafted and luxurious, and you feel seen and represented when you wear her clothes. They are strong, stunning and proud.”

Hayley Elsaesser

Hayley Elsaesser: Not only is Toronto designer Hayley Elsaesser skilled at creating fun and colourful size-inclusive clothing for her own line—her mushroom floral and “eyegina” prints are unforgettable—she’s also an excellent resource for shopping recos. “I’m a huge fan of over-the-top prints, streetwear and vintage fashion,” she says of her own wardrobe. “From a very young age, I was drawn to fashion as a means of expression. I was a super-shy kid and I loved the feeling that I could show who I was through fashion. This has continued into adulthood, and I love combining colours, prints and styles.” Here’s where she shops.

Hayley Elsaesser

For vintage: Black Diamond Vintage

“Black Diamond Vintage is run by two badass babes, Dara and Sierra, who I met through my partner (they are all university friends). I fell in love with their store and brand. They have the most amazing vintage items, but they also work very hard at having size-inclusive vintage pieces, which is quite rare to find. They are incredibly hard-working and do a lot for their community as well.”

For the comfiest jeans: Universal Standard

“Universal Standard is my go-to brand for basics. Their size inclusivity is incredible with sizing from 00 to 40. I absolutely love their jeans, because they have amazing stretch—I could literally do yoga in them—but they also have support and don’t lose their shape. The quality of their items is fantastic, so I love shopping them for items I know I’ll need and wear for years.”

For special pieces: Lesley Hampton

“Lesley Hampton is an incredible Canadian fashion designer who should be on everyone’s radar! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her on many occasions and she is one of the kindest and sweetest people I’ve ever met. She is a huge champion for Indigenous voices and is doing big things. She’s been worn by Lizzo and has a great size range up to 6X, which is incredible.”

For collectible sneakers: Makeway

“Makeway is a sneaker store for women by women in the heart of Toronto. One of the owners is a dear friend, Abby Albino, and her business partner, Shelby, is fantastic. They curate the most amazing sneakers, housewares, clothing and accessories, and do their best to feature as many BIPOC businesses as possible. Their taste is impeccable, and as a sneaker lover, they are my go-to!”

For cool jewellery: Corey Moranis

“Corey Moranis is a Canadian jeweller who makes the coolest Lucite pieces in really amazing shapes and colours. It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen before and can really take an outfit to the next level. Corey is also a friend of mine who actually did the set design for my New York Fashion Week show and her creativity is endlessly inspiring.”

Roxy Earle

Roxy Earle: TV personality and entrepreneur Roxy Earle often collaborates with brands to bring more size-inclusive fashion to consumers. “I have access to about 10 per cent of fashion as I’m a size 12, so my style is limited to what I can create,” she says. She also uses her star power to encourage women to feel great in their own skin. “My mission is to inspire a generation of women to feel happier, healthier and more confident. My new app, Ana, includes advice on how to feel confident in your clothes or in a change room, to help women better understand the link between their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Roxy Earle

Earle describes her own style as “laid-back luxury” and she switches up her approach to dressing according to the season. “In the summer I love beautiful and bold prints and colours in silks that speak to my South Asian heritage in a modern way. In the cooler months I am known for a soft and feminine palette that’s winter luxe.” Here’s where Earle shops.

For sexy swimwear: Unika Swim

“Unika Swim is a local and sustainably sourced swim brand that makes custom swimsuits for women of all sizes. Size-inclusive swim can be frumpy, and I love how Unika focuses on fun and sexy cuts.”

For affordable outfits: Joe Fresh

“Joe Fresh is the home of my size-inclusive design collaboration and an amazing way for me to reach women of a large size range in an affordable and fashionable way. It gives me the design freedom to push the envelope on style that delivers for the fashionistas at a good price.”

For luxe workwear: Henning

“Henning focuses on luxurious staples for plus sizes. They’re a great go-to for classic and versatile work pieces for a customer seeking quality.”

For curve-friendly jeans: Good American

“I live in Good American jeans. I don’t think anyone else does a jean for curvy women as well as they do.”

For innovative underwear: Knix

“Run by the badass female founder Joanna Griffiths, this is my go-to for intimates. The products are just so innovative and beyond being wonderfully size-inclusive, they understand a woman’s needs in a way that I didn’t even know I needed until I put them on. I love everything they stand for and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Brynta Ponn

Brynta Ponn: Content creator and body confidence advocate Brynta Pon says having access to diverse and stylish clothing feels “surreal.” “Growing up as a Tamil-Canadian woman in the GTA, I always felt like I struggled to find clothes to fit my curvy body from either side of my identity. Years later, I’m happy to have the ability to highlight brands that are doing right by the plus-size community. I wouldn’t say I fit into one box when it comes to what I wear, but I’ve gained the confidence to wear more of what used to scare me. I no longer need to buy things that ‘I will fit into later.’” Here are some of her favourite brands.

Brynta Ponn

For office clothes: H&M

“As a plus-size professional, I found it incredibly hard to find clothes to wear to my 9-to-5 that were trendy and still appropriate. H&M made it very easy for me to find things I loved not only for my job but for my everyday wardrobe. ”

For workout wear: Athleta

“I’ve hooked many people onto this brand by telling them that the items I own from them feel like butter. Athleta has a variety of options for cute and casual clothing, but I love shopping their athleisure section. It’s soft yet wildly supportive.”

For casual basics: Abercrombie

“I was definitely traumatized by this brand in the early 2000s, but we love a brand that isn’t afraid to be honest about their mistakes. Abercrombie’s rebrand is absolutely what plus-sized people are looking for. Now we can all enjoy what it has to offer, from romantic date night looks to casual gym outfits.”

For a bit of everything: BooHoo

“I never allow my partner to check the mail when I’ve ordered something from BooHoo. It is never a small package. It’s hard to pick just one thing when, as a size 18/20, you finally find a brand that gives you options for absolutely every occasion. Wedding guest? A suit? Lingerie? Coats? Shoes? They do it all and do it well.”

For romantic lingerie: Savage x Fenty

“Savage x Fenty changed my perspective on how my body was worthy of being seen in romantic and personal moments. Not only have they had inclusive sizing from the beginning, but the clothes are shown on every body type. I know exactly how that bra is going to look on Rihanna and on me. The quality and variety is unmatched.”

Jen of @vibrantvvbeauty

Jen of @vibrantvvbeauty: Colour enthusiast, content creator, mother and The Kit best-dressed Canadian Jen describes her style as “vibrant, bold, comfortable, thoughtful and mood-boosting.”

Jen of @vibrantvvbeauty

“I love clothes that are soft, flexible and easy. I focus on colours, textures and silhouettes that make me happy. It’s been freeing to embrace a variety of styles and shapes, rather than being tied to outdated notions of ‘flattering’ that are only concerned with making bodies look smaller.” Here’s where she finds special pieces.

For beautiful blouses: Connally McDougall

“When it comes to true size inclusivity, I instantly think of Canadian designer Connally McDougall. She has changed her whole production model to be able to offer up to a size 9X, as well as custom sizing options. She produces fewer garments so that she can happily clothe anyone regardless of size or ability. She makes the dreamiest cupro blouses and is about to release some incredible jeans.”

For trendy pieces: Wray

“Another favourite of mine is Wray, which now offer up to a 6X on all garments. Wray has my heart because they offer bold, colourful, trendy pieces that are so fun and expressive. They are the antithesis of the mentality that plus-size clothing should be boring!”

For sustainable fashion: Oge Ajibe

“Oge Ajibe is another fantastic indie Canadian gem—a Black-owned brand that creates clothing that is both vibrant and super practical. So up my alley! She also focuses on sustainable practices and shares ultra-helpful styling videos. All of her pieces are offered up to a 5X.”

For designer denim: Decade Studio

“Finding jeans as a plus-size woman has been one of the more daunting tasks of my adulthood. So when Decade Studio expanded their sizing to offer denim up to a size 50, I was ecstatic! Their specialty is offering jeans in various silhouettes to accommodate all waist-hip ratios and body shapes. The Pamela is my favourite.”

For timeless essentials: Vincetta Studio

“Vincetta Studio is a Detroit-based label that offers chic, timeless basics up to a 5X. The colour palette is decidedly neutral, but the silhouettes are gorgeous and align with the brand’s aim of self-expression and authenticity. Vincetta’s garments are for all genders and body shapes. The brand also holds important dialogues about mental health and social media consumption; a breath of fresh air!”

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Melissa Perdigao is an associate editor at The Kit, writing about beauty and lifestyle. Follow her on Instagram: @itsmelissaliliana

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